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After moving to our new house, I stumbled upon a broken mid-century modern clock that I wanted to recreate out of better quality materials. 
This clock had a classic and retro look to it that I liked, but not its current, busted-up state.  I wanted to stay as close to the original design as I could, primarily as an exercise in reverse engineering the angles and the style and secondly because the contrasting brass and walnut looked really great together.

The pointed arms presented more of a challenge on the table saw because of the compound angles involved, but after some trial and error I was able to recreate the walnut points. Fortunately, I recently built a metal break that made quick work of the brass arms and it was on to the clock body.

I chose to remake the body out of solid walnut instead of the original brass face attached to a thin ring. I needed to round out the body and add a lip so that the arms’ connection point would be hidden; this was a perfect job for the wood lathe. But before I started turning, I needed to scribe the clock angles and find the center to drill out later.  I used a 30 degree protractor to mark each hour’s location and mounted the lathe’s faceplate dead center of those marks.

After turning the clock body, I went over to the drill press and used the angles I drew to drill out the space for the clock movement. I then lined up the brass and walnut arms with the hour marks and set them in place with epoxy and screws. I quickly made some custom minute and hour hands out of the brass sheet to replace the set that came with the clock (they were way too ornate for this design). I finished all of the wood pieces with Danish Oil and polished up the brass to complete this clock remake.

This style may not be my first choice, but it was a great exercise in using mixed materials, making compound miter cuts, bending metal, and turning on the lathe. The clocks is now a prominent fixture in my office and I hope you enjoy it too.

If you enjoyed this project, check out the playlist above with more awesome content!

All orders during the week of Thanksgiving will be shipped out the following week so that we can sufficiently enjoy turkey. Happy Thanksgiving! Dismiss